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Fair trade group welcomes EU rejection condemns TPPA

Media release July 5 2012

Fair trade group welcomes EU rejection of Anti-Counterfeiting Agreement (ACTA) condemns similar proposals in Trans-Pacific (TPPA) negotiations in San Diego

“We welcome the European Parliament’s overwhelming cross-party decision to reject the ACTA, and hope that similar proposals in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations this week in San Diego will also be rejected,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.

“The European Parliament rejection by 478 votes to 39 reflects widespread community concern about ACTA’s potential to increase rights of corporate copyright holders and impose criminal penalties for internet users. Hundreds of thousands of European citizens have demonstrated and signed petitions calling for their representatives to reject the treaty,” said Dr Ranald.

“Many of the agreement’s provisions are ambiguous and could give increased rights to copyright holders at the expense of members of the public. The agreement potentially applies criminal penalties and undefined civil damages to single acts like temporarily storing data or forwarding e-mails, without adequate protection to ensure that individuals are treated fairly,” explained Dr Ranald

“The European Parliament rejection of the ACTA follows strong criticism of the ACTA from the Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties last week. The committee called for substantial changes and recommended against ratification of the agreement in its current form. The ratification of the ACTA has also stalled in the US Congress,” added Dr Ranald.

“The Australian and European decisions cast a shadow over the negotiations this week on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), in San Diego between the US, Australia, New Zealand, Chile Peru Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. Leaked documents from the TPPA negotiations showed proposals similar to those in the ACTA agreement. These should be withdrawn,” concluded Dr Ranald.

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